....whereas the resurrection of Christ in a sense breaks the bonds of the social order that crucifies, so as to inaugurate a new history, a new city, whose story is told along the infinite axis of divine peace, the religious dynamism of Attic tragedy has the form of a closed circle; it reinforces the civic order it puts into question, by placing that order within a context of cosmic violence that demonstrates not only the limits but the necessity ofthe city's regime.
These irresoluble contradictions within moral order belong often to a civic order of injustice, which tragedy dissimulates by displacing the responsibility for civic violence to a metaphysical horizon of cosmic violence; the sacrificial structure of the polis is presented as the sacrificial order of the world.
Perhaps, however, it is just this mythos - this pagan metanarrative of ontological violence - that the Christian narrative has from its beginning rejected, and against which it must pose itself as an alternative wisdom. Greek tragedy, as a gnosis, a vision of truth, is a particularly alluring feature of a particular linguistic economy, a narrative of being according to which the cosmos is primordially a conflict of irreconcilable forces, embraced within the overarching violence of fate; and the wisdom it imparts is one of accommodation, resignation before the unsynthesizable abyss of being, a willingness on the part of the spectator to turn back toward the polis as a refuge from the turmoils of a hostile universe, reconciled to its regime and its prudential violences, its martial logic.
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